Family members often play an important role in the lives of those struggling with substance abuse. It is important for the family members of the person struggling to have a safe and healthy space to process their emotions about the situation. Support groups can provide this important space.
Supporting Family Members
Receiving love and support from family members can help individuals overcome their substance use. Unfortunately, many family members who want to be supportive may not know how to help their loved ones, and others may feel unable to process their own complicated emotions openly.
It is important for family members not to neglect their mental health. Watching a loved one fall down the rabbit hole of substance use can be traumatizing. Family members may feel hopeless, powerless, or confused by their loved one’s struggle with substance use. Sometimes this can be too much to handle. This is why family support groups are extremely important.
Peer Support Groups for Family Members
Family members of people struggling with substance abuse can join peer support groups to find community with others going through similar situations. These groups provide different types of support, helping family members understand and cope with their loved ones’ addictions.
Many family members do not understand the science of addiction or the recovery process, and they may feel confused and hurt if their loved one refuses treatment or relapses. Dealing with the emotional aspects of their loved one’s struggle may be mentally draining, leaving them little to no room to research the issue.
Peer support groups can ease family members’ confusion and anxiety by giving them accurate information. Family members can learn more about how addiction sets in, how it changes the brain and affects their loved ones, how the recovery process works, and how they can interact with their loved one in healthy and supportive ways.
The more they understand about the addiction, the more family members will be able to help their loved ones in positive and effective ways. Sometimes this involves stepping in. Other times, it may involve setting boundaries. Additionally, the more people learn about a subject, the less intimidating it seems. By learning about how substance use works, family members can gain empathy and patience for their loved ones.
When someone struggles with substance abuse, their behavior often changes. It may even seem like they have an entirely different personality. Family members may find it incredibly difficult to witness these changes and see their loved one in a state of addiction.
After joining a peer group and realizing that they are not alone, family members often feel a great sense of relief. It is comforting to know that others just like them are going through the same situations and experiencing similar emotions. It can be helpful to talk about these experiences and release any feelings they may have let build up.
It’s no secret that supporting a loved one struggling with substance use can have its ups and downs. The important thing to know is that there is support out there, and there are so many people willing to help. Using a treatment center as a resource can connect family members with a safe community for them to process their emotions with others who understand. This can help family members cope with their loved ones’ substance abuse and, in turn, show up as their best selves for their loved ones.
Family members have full lives of their own, often including careers, children, and other responsibilities. Some peer support services will help family members with scheduling support meetings, accessing childcare, and in some situations, finding financial relief. Practical services like these understand that the struggle with substance abuse affects the entire family, in more ways than one.
Remember To Have Compassion for Yourself
If you have a loved one who struggles with addiction, remember that it is healthy to let yourself feel your emotions, both positive and negative. You want the best for your loved one, and your support can help encourage them toward achieving or maintaining sobriety. However, their recovery journey is ultimately their responsibility.
As family members and friends of people who struggle with addiction, we need to be patient with ourselves, as well as with everyone else involved in the situation. Treatment facilities exist for a reason, being that people often can’t recover without help, and treatment programs work as long as everyone involved is willing and motivated to do their part. Support groups exist because it is normal for family members to feel emotions too big to handle on their own. There are so many resources available to help us take care of ourselves and each other through the mental rollercoaster of substance abuse. Help is available for anyone willing to receive it.
Supporting a loved one struggling with addiction can be overwhelming. Family members are expected to give their unconditional love and support. What happens when the family members feel lost and alone? People can find understanding and community in support groups for family members and friends of those struggling with addiction. Peer support groups can provide information to help family members better understand their loved one’s substance use. They also offer emotional support and can reassure family members that they are not alone. Remember that it is okay to feel sadness and anger; we all have to process our emotions so that we can move past them to a more positive state of mind. We might not have all of the answers, but showing up with love and support for our loved ones can mean the world to them. To learn more, call 449 Recovery at (949) 435-7449.